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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Not your ordinary green, black and white, The Good Life Co. brings you tea blends that are flavourful and fascinating. Pearl Mathias visits their experiential store at BKC to try some great tea blends

In recent months, we’ve seen the rise and rise of popular tea joints in the city. Coffee haunts are so yesterday, one might say, as they flip through elaborate menus boasting aromatic blends and fine teas from across the globe. Whether you’re a tea connoisseur or a cutting-chai lover, the warmth that the first sip brings is a lovely feeling.

Being tea lovers ourselves — mostly sticking to the humble green tea or classic Earl Grey — our interest was piqued when we heard the news that an experiential tea salon was launched in the city. Luxury tea company TGL Co. (The Good Life Company) has brought a one-of-a-kind experiential tea salon to Sofitel in BKC. We loved the sound of experimenting with tea blends from across the world, and so, we hopped over to the store for a romantic encounter with brews and blends.

Come a long way
The tea company is a venture by entrepreneurs Bhuman Dani and Shariq Ashraf, who were formerly with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). After bumping into each other at an alumni meet, the two got talking, and before they knew it, TGL Co. came into existence. Why would anyone in their right mind leave a comfortable job in which they were established to bring tea to India, one might wonder? Well, they’ve been asked that quite a bit too, but once you get talking to Bhuman, you’ll realise that his passion trumps all else, and when you have a passion like that, the rest will simply follow. With that in mind, the duo got working and spent several months in rigorous research and development to bring us the best of the best.

Set apart
Just six months since its launch and TGL Co. is already making waves in the industry. But, if you are a tea drinker who shuns the thought of experimenting with your brews, here’s what sets TGL Co. apart from the other players in the tea industry.

They source their white and green teas from plantations in the Yunnan and Fujian province of China, and from Japan. Their Oolong teas are sourced from Taiwan and their black teas are sourced from the Uva Valley in Sri Lanka and Darjeeling in India. By sourcing the teas fresh from where they grow best, the brand ensures brews of the highest quality with distinctive aromas and flavours.

To ensure healthy and delicious blends, the teas are flown to Europe where they are handcrafted by master blenders under the supervision of culinary experts and botanists. Like their teas, the ingredients that are used in these aromatic blends are also sourced from areas in which they grow best. If you read through the ingredients on the labels at the back of the tea boxes, you’ll notice that most of them are unheard of. A few that caught our eye were barberries from Iran, mallow petals from Western Europe, schizandra berries from Eastern Russia, Thistle flowers from Scotland and Osmanthus from the Himalayas.

Brews before beans
Coming to the appearance of the tea salon, we were treated to a sight of dainty tins in gold and silver, lining the shelves. Three premium collections of tea are available at the experiential store in BKC — Connoisseur, Dessert and Wanderlust. If you want to know more about the teas, flip through their carefully chalked-out menu, which talks about more than just the tea’s ingredients and its origin; it tells you a story of the brew as well.

We tried one of their most popular tea in the Dessert Collection, the Mogo Mogo. The tropical brew is made of green sencha tea and includes a blend of banana, mango, guava, cornflower melon, passion flower leaves and sunflower. We loved the light brew and relished the strong notes of mango and melon — a must-try whether you’re into fruity blends or not.

Another tea we enjoyed was the Geisha from the Wanderlust Collection, a blend of green sencha tea, China Bancha Tea and China Kukicha Tea, and with ingredients such as sesame, bamboo shoots, schizandra berries, ginger and roses. We recommend the delightful blend for its mysterious flavours that will leave you wanting more.

A few other teas that piqued our curiosity were the spicy Little Buddha, the soothing Spa Delight, the elegant and bubbly Strawberry and Champagne, and the flowery Ice Wine. Each of them is sourced from locations where they’re best grown and nurtured, and a cup of these will instantly transport you to la-la-land.

At the store, you can also browse through assorted tea gift boxes and handy tea accessories such as tea pots, tea infusers and tea sets. Their gorgeous gifting boxes in royal blue, teal, baby pink and orange, and embossed with gold, made us want to purchase one for ourselves.

Website wonder
If you can’t make it all the way to the store, but are keen to experiment with their flavourful offerings, simply browse through their website, which offers details on everything about their teas. And, once you’re as wowed by their brews as we were, you can get clicking and add them to your cart for a tasteful soirée. If you’re sceptical about the price of these brews, let’s just say, your first buy will speak for itself.

Where: TGL Co. Tea Salon, Outside Artisan Café, Sofitel Hotel, C-57, Bandra Kurla Complex

Contact: 61175000/

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